PAY AND WORKLOAD
February 13, 2020
“When I first started here, there were a lot of substitutes in the sub poll,” fifth grade teacher Mrs. Ruda Burns said. “However, there are hardly any subs now.”
One of the reasons for the decline, she said, is an increase in teachers’ workloads.
Mr. Tim Trexler, who has worked in the district for more than twenty five years in various positions, stated, “I’ve noticed that fewer teachers are applying not just in our district but in a lot of area schools because it’s a never ending job, and the pay isn’t there.”
The trend is starting in college. According to US News and World Report, teacher preparation has decreased in the last eight years in almost every state across the country. Since 2010, enrollment in teacher preparation programs nationwide have decreased more than one third. Approximately 340,000 fewer students today are enrolled in teacher preparation programs.
The same article relates that some states have a declined teacher preparation enrollment of 50 percent, including Oklahoma, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Illinois, Idaho, Indiana, New Mexico, and Rhode Island.
One poll showed that fifty-four percent of adults don’t want their children to become teachers, while half of teachers have considered quitting their job. Some say this because teachers don’t get paid enough or don’t receive adequate benefits; others say there are too many responsibilities but not enough time given to complete them.
Mr. Jerry Farkus, a seventh grade math teacher at Bellwood-Antis, stated, “Too many demands are made of teachers. Teachers must have all students pass a state mandated test. And to be honest, the pay is insufficient to match the demands made of teachers.”
Pay is a prevalent theme, especially in light of the rising cost of a college education.
High school band teacher Mr. Patrick Sachse, the Bellwood-Antis Education Association president, said college tuition costs have risen faster than starting teacher salaries; therefore, young teachers struggle to pay their student loans.
Another BA teacher agrees.
“I think fewer teachers are coming out of college because the cost of college is so high that not all teachers’ salaries can support paying back their student loans,” said Mrs. Susan Nycum, a middle school teacher at B-A.